Tuesday, September 23, 2008

United States of France: Thoughts on the "Bailout"

Frankly, I've never been particularly interested in economics. In fact, this might be the first post devoted to it in the history of this august blog. The federal government has unveiled a massive plan to nanny the financial sector of our economy, something the decaying remnants of civilization left in the Old Continent have mastered the art of, but which is relatively new on these shores (forgetting, of course, the FDR aberrant, more on that later.)

America has joined our cheese-eating, socialist, surrender monkey "friends" across the Atlantic. I speak, of course, of the French. More in a minute, but this perfect quote from--whodathunkit?--TIME, is the perfect introduction.

"Admit it, mes amis, the rugged individualism and cutthroat capitalism that made America the land of unlimited opportunity has been shrink-wrapped by half a dozen short sellers in Greenwich, Conn., and FedExed to Washington, D.C., to be spoon-fed back to life by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. We're now no different from any of those Western European semi-socialist welfare states that we love to deride. Italy? Sure, it's had four governments since last Thursday, but none of them would have allowed this to go on; the Italians know how to rig an economy."

From: "How we became the United States of France" by Bill Saporito. TIME Magazine, September 21, 2008.

The economic situation, which is in a mild recession, is slightly disturbing. The proposed government bailout, however, is more than slightly terrifying. The federal government, is descending back into the New Deal chaos of government entitlement which only the combined efforts of Nixon, Reagan, and Bush 41--and grudgingly Clinton--were able to undo the first time around. Ladies and gentlemen, entitlement is back.

The Treasury Department, with Bush appointees Treasury Secretary Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke at the head, has steamrollered over the legislative process and is buying, according to CNNmoney.com, "from firms up to $700 billion in troubled assets - mainly mortgage-backed securities - whose values have declined as the housing market imploded. The goal is to stabilize the companies and prompt them to lend again."

This is big-government interventionism at its worst. It took the FEMA bureaucrats to get three days to get water to the Louisiana Superdome after Katrina, but in barely that time, more bureaucrats have come up with a bullet-proof, enormous, multi-tiered leviathan of a proposal to essentially bail out their Wall Street masters while simultaneously consolidating their control over the free market.

Thomas Sowell estimates that this vast handout to the Wolves on Wall Street might cost taxpayers, not merely $700 billion, but more than one trillion dollars. Yes, that's $1,000,000,000,000.


Let's put this incredibly vast figure in perspective.

Sowell explains what that means: "A trillion seconds ago, no one on this planet could read and write. Neither the Roman Empire nor the ancient Chinese dynasties had yet come into existence. None of the founders of the world’s great religions today had yet been born." And now the government is putting a dollar sign in front of that figure and sucking it out of our pockets.

Even in terms of government spending, this is unprecedented. According to a 2005 MSNBC article, the government put about $200 billion into rebuilding the Gulf Coast after Katrina. One-fifth of what it now plans to spend to ease the worries of a few thousand, high-and-dry white males in one tiny part of the country--Wall Street.

The joint cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to present? $6.4 billion. Add those two numbers together and you have $8.4 billion. That's still much less than this gargantuan figure. Fighting two wars for almost six years, plus recovery from the biggest hurricane in two decades? Laughable beside this.

Heck, this is THREE BILLION DOLLARS MORE than the entire projected Federal budget for 2009 (pre-"bailout"). $997 billion, according to globalissues.org. This is staggering. Incredible. Unthinkable. Impossible. The federal government, has doubled itself and split into two: the government and the government-backed and controlled financial sector. We're supposed to be evolving, but the government is taking it all back to a cellular level. This isn't government growth, it's mitosis.